Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill raising California’s minimum hourly wage to $10 by 2016 from the current $8.
Brown signed the bill at the Ronald Reagan building in downtown Los Angeles amid cheers from workers. He said the raise will narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.
Assembly Bill 10 sponsored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) will be implemented in two $1 installments the first of which on July 1, 2014 and the second on Jan. 1, 2016. The raise was the first since 2008, when 50 cents was added to the minimum wage to make it $8. The federal minimum is $7.25 an hour.
The new law makes California among the states with the highest minimum hourly wage. Currently, Washington has the highest state minimum wage at $9.19 per hour, but subject to adjustment depending on the cost of living.
Some 1.5 million full-time workers or 14 percent of the state’s full-time workforce are expected to benefit from the raise, according to Sacramento Bee, citing U.S. Census data.
The California Chamber of Commerce (CCC) designated the bill as a “jobs killer” and warned it would unfairly increase business costs and jeopardize California’s economic recovery. CCC and the California Restaurant Association also said the new law could force companies to raise prices, cut workers’ hour or even lay off employees.
National Federation of Independent Business in California Executive Director John Kabateck said the bill will cement California’s status as the worst state to start business, according to L.A. Times.